Collective Grief

In our present society, we’re continuously confronted with acts of violence that are at once shocking and simply unimaginable. The picture of a desperate, heartbroken mother with the cross of Ash Wednesday still freshly signed on her forehead told the story this week of the shock, destruction, and despair that devastated the community of Parkland, Florida on a holy day of remembrance.

The Angel Wore Sneakers

…not just any old work shoes, but hot pink sneakers with shiny silver stripes that peeked out from the bottom of her sensible khaki pants. This particular angel had bright yellow curly hair, the perfect complement to her sunny disposition. Her job was to arrange and maintain the Christmas floral arrangements in the large gothic dining room of an historic estate house open to the public. She was the “flower lady”, responsible for artfully brightening this moody space with its soaring cathedral ceilings through the vibrant beauty of fresh seasonal flowers.

Commonwealth Grief

Beyond its accustomed use to designate a federation of states, a commonwealth is also defined as any group of persons united by some common interest. In the face of senseless violence, tragic death, and random injury, as occurred in recent weeks and days especially in London and Manchester, those of us who are helpless bystanders are most certainly part of a commonwealth.

How to Recover from the Death of a Loved One

Recovery best describes our spiritual and emotional healing from grief. Here are some things that to help in how to recover from the death of a loved one.

Grief Understanding

The journey of grief takes us inevitably through “the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23:4 RSV). We emerge at last from the darkness of grief into the light of new life, our soul restored through the loving care of God’s infinite grace.

Restoration

When the careful restoration of our life is at last complete, our grief becomes a precious part of the infrastructure of who we are.

Happiness

As our grief slowly moves beyond the pain of loss and loneliness, often we ask ourselves, “Will I ever be happy again?”

Soaring

When we grieve, somewhere deep within we long to soar again.

Perfect Faithfulness

God is perfect. God is faithful. God’s perfect faithfulness is our one true guide through the valley of the shadow of death.

Grief Recovery

What is it about grief that seems so at odds with the notion of recovery?

Stuck

If we're experiencing a kind of mental, emotional, or spiritual inertia, we may be temporarily stuck in our grief.

Clean Break

When our heartbreak comes from a love that's pure, true, and untarnished, putting the pieces of our life back together is a labor of love, the work of grief that honors the love we shared with the one now lost to us in death.
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